Tall order from the man from a ghetto hood in France, Nadjib Mohammedi, who takes on a certified terminator, Sergey Kovalev, on Saturday night in Las Vegas.
Mohammedi took awhile to get here, and even so, his name doesn't roll off the tongue of even fairly hardcore boxing fans. No surprise, really, being that he was fighting in France till 2014.
Much better known is his trainer, Abel Sanchez, the guy who has taken his chisel and sculpted the rock-fisted fighting pride of Kazahkstan, Gennady Golovkin, to being the most feared 160 pounder on the planet. So, Mr. Sanchez, you know something about being close to a scary figure…how will your man Mohammedi beat Kovalev, the sort of man who can hurt you with either hand, and is seeking to do so from second one?
“I am trainer for three fights on Saturday, and all my guys trained very hard and are ready to be successful,” he told me. “Mohammedi is fighting the best light heavyweight in the world, and he earned that right by winning and climbing the ladder of rankings. I expect that Nadjib will do everything within his capabilities not to disappoint his fans, his family, his country, his coach and most of all, himself. My fighters always try their best not to disappoint. I look forward to an eventful night.”
And give us some intel; how does Mohammedi beat Kovalev? “By making sure he remembers that it's a long culmination of a long amateur and even harder professional journey to this challenge and that he believes what we have arduously tried to teach him in the short time we have spent together.” (This is their third fight together.)
I am thinking it would be in the best interest of Mohammedi to have been working on not dropping his hands as often as he has in the past, because Kovalev will make him pay for that habit….Also, I suspect Abel has been working on upping his power from the “average” range, seeing if he can get, with an upgrade in footwork and investment, committment, more power out of Mohammedi. He will need that aid in keeping Kovalev, a stubborn follower who has to face a restraining order to stop stalking an opponent, out of his face.
I'm also thinking Mohammedi has to stop Kovalev to beat him; yes? “I think if he does what we have designed for him, he wins either way,” the trainer said.
TAALLLL order…but stranger things have happened. Odds say they won't but one never knows until one knows.
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